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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Matchbooks from the Past - The Helmsley Palace New York City

#matchbook #NYC #helmsley #hotels #collectibles #urbanarcheology
“...Guests of the Urban Archeologist stay at the lovely Helmsley Palace...where the owner’s wife will yell at the staff while they make your bed!”

Not so poor Leona Helmsley was known as the Queen of Mean for the way she would treat and fire the hotel staff for small errors. There is plenty of history to review regarding the original railroad magnate’s mansion and how Leona's husband Harry Helmsley built a 50 story hotel on the site.

Image from WIkimapia

This jewel in the crown of Harry’s real estate portfolio, which included the Empire State Building and the Flat Iron Building, among others, ultimately lead to his and Leona’s downfall. When cost overruns and shady billing to contracting companies owned by the Helmsleys lead to indictments on tax evasion the couple were headed to court. Harry, by this time was too ill to be tried, but Leona wasn't. Exhibit A had to be these matchbooks -they clearly spent too much on them, the tips are gold! (Colored). Both Helmsley's are gone, but their legacy lives on as a very large and successful charitable trust in their names with annual giving in the 10's of millions.

from Instagram

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